Premier League season ends with second championship for Manchester City in the last three years
The English Premier League season peaked a little early this year. On May 5, league leaders Liverpool traveled to Selhurst Park to play Crystal Palace in a game that had the potential to define a stunning season. Instead, it ultimately proved a final example of the Reds’ inconsistency. Liverpool went up 3-0, including goals from forwards Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, and looked to have the game—and possibly the league title—sewn up.
Suarez led all players with 31 goals in Premier League contests, while Sturridge was second in the Premier League with 21 goals.
Instead, they allowed Crystal Palace to rush back, tie the game at three, end their title hopes, and give Manchester City a cakewalk to the league championship.
It was the Citizens second title in the past three years, and the third in a row by either of the teams from the city of Manchester.
Throughout the season, Manchester City displayed a potent attack led by forward Sergio Aguero, a sturdy midfield anchored by Yaya Toure, and an effective defense featuring the always-entertaining Martin Demichelis.
While their rise to success has not been the most inspiring story, they were worthy winners and played attractive football.
Manchester United was more of a grim tale this season, and the tide appears to be flowing the other way. United, the defending champions, had a miserable season which ended with a seventh-place finish, their lowest in decades.
David Moyes, the appointed replacement to the legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, stumbled along and was fired before season’s end by Manchester United, with club legend Ryan Giggs, a midfielder, suiting up on the touchline for the last few games.
Though criticized throughout the season, forward Wayne Rooney led Manchester United with 17 goals.
They will be an enigma coming into next season. Will the Red Devils reclaim their position at the top of the table, or sink further into mid-table ignominy?
Rounding out the top four to go along with Manchester City and Liverpool were the London clubs, Arsenal and Chelsea.
Both looked like they might sustain a run for the title at various points in the season, but could not keep up the form.
Arsenal especially impressed early in the season, and while they ultimately fell short, their prowess was rewarded as they lifted the FA Cup trophy on Saturday, ending a seven-year trophy drought that had become the stuff of stand-up comics and schoolyard insults.
An impressive Everton, resurgent under new manager David Moyes, and Tottenham Hotspur, who struggled to make an impact between various manager controversies, rounded out the top six teams in the table. Both teams will be playing in the Europa League next season.
At the bottom of the table, only one newly promoted club fell back down to the Football League Championship, as Cardiff City were unable to overcome a controversial color change and the antics of their owner and were relegated.
Fulham fell down to the second division after 13 successful years in the top flight, and look to be favorites to bounce right back up.
Norwich City had an unspectacular season and rounded out the bottom three.
In the middle of the table, the only surprise was Crystal Palace, who besides their stunning comeback draw against Liverpool, had a surprisingly successful season under Premier League Manager of the Year Tony Pulis.
Come August, the drama looks to pick right back up with another year in the Premier League.